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Mataranka Northern Territory

Only 100 km south of Katherine

A great place to see some free Barramundi feeding, where the fish are pulled from the water with bare hands.

Have a relaxing swim in the many thermal pools and crystal clear streams. Walk along the many shady walking trails amongst the massive palm trees.

We have stayed here several times so far during 2003 - 2009 as we poke around in different parts of the region.

Next time we will be off to the 12 mile yards to camp and walk along the Roper River to Mataranka falls, after walking and enjoying the 1 hour "Botanic Walk" .


Bitter Springs Mataranka NT

When travelling through  Mataranka and you are looking for a nice relaxing place to have a dip and actually stretch out and do some laps, try Bitter Springs Thermal pool instead of the well frequented Mataranka Thermal pools.

The springs here actually branch off into a stream which you can follow down 100 metres to a bridge & ladder to climb out of then go for a walk around the springs.

Consistently deeper than the Mataranka thermal pools, Bitter Springs wasn't suited for very young children (under 8's). But much quieter. Take a floaty with you to paddle down to the 2 exit points along the stream.

the main pool at bitter springs mataranka nt

Mataranka Thermal Pool

The Mataranka Thermal pool is the biggest draw card to the region. Nestled amongst tall shady Mataranka Palms (Livistonia ....) the thermal pools pump out a tremendous amount of warm water which has soothed many a traveller over the years.

Only a stones throw from the Roper River, the turquoise waters of the main pool add to the atmosphere of the springs.

It seems overcrowded sometimes with up to 50 people relaxing in the water at any one time as the buses stop for their weary passengers to freshen up. Half an hour later there may only be half a dozen of you there.

Stayed overnight in July09 and did the usual haunts. The Thermal Pool was averagely crowded over the 2+hrs we stayed & more could be done to replant a lower canopy of plants to make it more lush again & set it apart from a concrete skate park filler with water look that it has become. (Sorry, but it needs help fast as Pandanus is dying along the waters edge & I'd put that down to sprinklers in the dry leaching bat droppings)


Botanic Walk

In Elsey National Park there are many great walking trails .

By far the easier ones are around the Mataranka Thermal Pool (for those short on time), and the other one is the Botanic Walk a few Km away along the Roper River. A great walking trail with informative displays and a few seats & a table along the way. All very shady for those worried about the temperature. At the turn around point is the Roper River (in picture), from here you can walk along the Roper River to 12 Mile Yards (maybe 8 km further) The road & the track run along the river with several other points of interest & entry/exit points at smaller loop walks. So it is very easy to be dropped off and walk for the day/morning back to camp and only be less 1 km from the main road.

A great little swimming spot for kids is at the 4 mile hole, where an offshoot of the main river sweeps around creating a shady alleyway, that is segmented and shallow.

For the adventurous, get dropped off at the Botanic walk and walk the 3.5 km to the 4 mile hole and meet with others there (boat ramp). You get to see different parts of the Waterhouse & Roper river .



Mataranka Falls

A pleasant 4 km walk along the Roper River and through the bush from 12 Mile Hole (campgrounds).

The tranquility of the river turns to the roar of the water pouring over the tufa dams (they act like your own spa pool).
The falls have changed dramatically over the years with much of the established foliage ripped from the falls during the wet season & more pandanus taking hold.
Falls Photos taken end of October 2003 (dry & hot)
Did the walk again in 2007 (enhanced paths)